Exploring Food Favorites in Old Town Nice
For years, I came to Nice every chance I got. It wasn’t just for its luminescence, warm sunshine and beautiful landscape. It was her flavors: delectable, often surprising, and always memorable. And the people who made my favorite dishes: full of soul and personality, their passion infusing every bite.
Now that I live here, I still visit my all-time favorites, the familiar flavors like old friends always revisited with pleasure.
Here are some of those Nice food favorites, in no particular order:
Acchiardo: this family-run spot truly makes you feel like you’re part of the family. The Acchiardos, originally from Piemonte, greet you warmly and the energy is always lively and comforting. The menu is extensive, which complicates the decision, but rest assured that you cannot go wrong. Whether you go for one of the more Italian dishes or a true Niçoise specialty such a rouget (red mullet) with tapenade or local lamb, your taste buds will rejoice. I never miss the Niçoise plate as a starter. It gives me the opportunity to revisit the traditional flavors of Nice and always puts a smile on my face.
38 rue Droite, Vieux Nice
Oliviera: any lover of the Mediterranean must visit this delightful place tucked away in the alleys of Vieux Nice, the old town. Nadim, the gregarious owner, is a true Mediterranean soul: enchanted by the complexities of olive oil and always wearing a warm smile, he dances in the narrow spaces between the tables, explaining the menu in 5 languages and pouring tastings of the various extra virgin olive oils to be sopped up with crusty bread. The menu is well focused and seasonal: each dish paired with a different oil to showcase its complexity and elegance. Try the eggplant Oliviera, a tangy, silky-smooth dip of roasted eggplant, yogurt, and olive oil. And then put yourself in Nadim’s hands and let his stories guide your taste buds.
8 Bis rue du Collet
06300, Vieux Nice
Oui, Jelato: being on the edge of Southern France, leaning towards Italy, Nice of course has an abundance of gelato. But no one does gelato better than Oui, Jelato, two steps from the Promenade, in the eternal sunshine of Place du Palais de Justice. Amarena (sour cherry), stracciatella, pistachio, cassata, marron glacee… the list goes on and on but the texture and flavor remain amazingly vibrant and memorable.
5 rue de la Prefecture
René Socca: snacking while meandering the alleys of Vieux Nice means only one thing: Rene Socca. This veritable Nice institution still draws crowds of visitors and natives alike. The temple of street food does some of the best socca but also petits farcis, stuffed sardines, and a collection of beignets, from zucchini flower and spring onion to sardine and anchovy. Come with friends, order one (or two or three) of everything and give in to the art of living in Nice.
2 Rue Miralheti
To learn more about the food of Nice and explore my favorites, download my iBook on the cuisine of Nice here.
Image credits: François Millo